I dropped my Macbook Pro laptop on the concrete sidewalk on the short walk to work a couple weeks ago. I had popped the messenger bag shoulder strap up off my shoulder to pull my coat out, and didn’t quite catch it on the way down. Blammo. Turns out that when push comes to shove, concrete retains its shape a lot better than aluminum. All the USB ports on my Macbook Pro 5.2 were instantly transformed into trapezoids, as the corner crumpled up like a soft soda can.

Those Apple folks know what they’ve got going, and do a good job of treating people with no regard for money well. $600 later I had a lot of heartburn, but also had a 50% brand new MBP that worked perfectly. Too bad the 50% included the hard drive. 🙁

Anyway… long story short -too late-… my clean hard drive emboldened me to finally install all the OSes I needed. What does it take to get my four favorite ones squeezed onto one fat-assed macbook pro? A little more pain than should really be necessary. The moral of the story is that this is the stuff you play with when you don’t really care if you blow all your data away. No, really. Back up anything you care about first. Technical details start up after the break… (continued…)

GPT is a newer Intel-provided partition format replacement for the ancient MBR style, that only allows 4 primary partitions and, most importantly, can’t be used to boot off of drives 3TB or larger (yes you will be using one soon!). So I thought I would prepare for the future and get all set up. What a waste of time… (continued…)

I could not live without this hack. Placing the Windows taskbar on the lefthand side, with auto-hide on, gives you more screen real estate AND more taskbar width when it pops out when needed, via Ctrl-Esc. I’ve been configuring Windows this way for decades. How can people stand that little strip at the bottom flashing at them all day? Seems like a little thing… but to me it’s huge. It actually determines who’s in charge – am I sitting at my computer to be told what I should do via little popup notifications, or am I there to get something done, checking on any notifications when I’m ready to address them? Sure, my friends can get annoyed that I take an hour to respond to an instant message, but I’m getting stuff done. Anyway, I’ve gotta keep this thing handy… (or just resist the urge to boot into Windows to play games…) :>

UPDATE: the original hack hasn’t kept pace with Explorer updates, and hasn’t been open sourced so others can do it. On page 17 of that forum post, another hack was provided that seems to be working.